Things You'll Need
4 cups birdseed
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 lb lard
Adorable birdseed ornaments are an inexpensive activity the whole family can enjoy making on a lazy weekend afternoon. The kids will have a ball making them, and the birds will enjoy eating them. The first version offered here produces cookie-shaped ornaments kids especially love, but they really only work in cold climates where the ornaments remain frozen. In warmer climates, the second version is ideal.
Cookie Cutter Ornaments
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, water, corn syrup and gelatin to form a smooth paste.
Slowly add the birdseed to the paste and combine until the birdseed is fully coated. Melt 1 pound of lard and add to mixture.
Place the cookie cutters on a parchment paper-lined pan and coat the cookie cutters with cooking spray. Spoon the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutters. Press the mixture down firmly with the back on the spoon to pack the mixture into the cookie cutters as tight as possible.
Cut straws into 3-inch segments and press the straw into the top one-fourth of the birdseed-filled cookie cutter. Make sure the hole goes all the way through the mixture. Leave the straw in the ornament and allow to dry for 3 to 4 hours.
Once the birdseed ornaments have dried, take out the straw and carefully remove the ornaments from the cookie cutters. Allow to harden overnight in the freezer.
Run a piece of twine through the hole at the top of the ornament. Hang the completed ornament in a tree for the birds to enjoy.
Pinecone Birdseed Balls
Gather pinecones, peanut butter, oatmeal, birdseed, cranberries and evergreen cuttings (optional).
Mix 1/4 c of oatmeal into 1/2 c of peanut butter.
Press the peanut butter mixture into the pinecones.
Roll the pinecones in birdseed, pressing the seeds into the peanut butter mixture.
Wrap twine around the pinecone and tie a knot at the top of a hanging loop.
Add peanut butter to the top of the pinecone and top with evergreen cuttings and cranberries.
Repeat to create pinecones for your own yard and maybe even as gifts for neighbors and friends.
Hang the pinecones in trees and watch for birds!
The cookie cutter ornaments will fall apart in warm weather. If the temperature in your yard typically rises above freezing, try the pinecone version instead.